Safe As H.O.U.S.Es

This year the University of Nottingham’s School of The Built Environment has undertaken their latest and most exciting project to date. They have embarked on the creation of the ‘Nottingham H.O.U.S.E’, which involves the design and construction of a fully sustainable house. The project involves a team of both students and staff working together to create a zero carbon two story house designed to be a family home.

Aptly named ‘H.O.U.S.E’ (House Optimising the Use of Solar Energy), it is a zero carbon house made up of eight timber framed modules and is to be completely powered by the sun. The team are now at the construction phase of the project which is being carried out at Nottingham University’s Kings Meadow Campus. The house was designed by Masters of Architecture students at Nottingham, with the construction team being made up of second and third year students from the School of the Built Environment, as well as a group of staff overseeing the work. This combination of students and staff working on a project of this size and importance would appear to be a valuable experience for all involved.

Second year architecture student Stephen Lovejoy, for whom this is a first experience of construction work, commented that “working on the build is a great experience. As a wannabe architect I learn so much from working at this end of the process”.
The aim of the project is to enter the ‘Solar Decathlon Europe’, an international competition for universities to raise awareness and advance the knowledge on sustainable homes. It is to be held in Madrid this June and involves twenty participating universities from around the world, of which Nottingham is the only British participant. In Madrid they will take their place in the final part of the competition a range of ten contests, judging criteria such as comfort and innovation. At the end of February, the H.O.U.S.E was also presented at ‘Ecobuild’ in Earls Court, London – the world’s largest event for sustainable design.

Though the Nottingham H.O.U.S.E is not quite ready to be rolled out on the production line it is definitely a step in the right direction. It is clear that to reach the eventual goal of zero carbon, fully sustainable homes on the market, projects like this are needed. Michael Siebert, the construction manager of the H.O.U.S.E project, argued that now is the time in the industry to “push the boundaries and see what’s possible”, pointing out that this project is a “learning curve”. The H.O.U.S.E, according to Siebert, is “necessary progress to make if we are going to get where we need to be”.

For more information visit:

Daniel Gadher

One Comment
  • John Stobbs
    11 March 2010 at 20:55
    Leave a Reply

    Very interesting work here we would be intertested in some case studies.

    John Stobbs

  • Leave a Reply